9. Cut Foot Sioux Recreation Area

Directions: The Cut Foot Sioux Recreation Area is located approximately 17 miles north west of Deer River, Minnesota, next to Big Cut Foot Sioux and Lake Winnibigoshish.

Year-Round Recreation: Cut Foot Sioux Recreation Area is a prime example of the USDA Forest Service slogan "Its All Yours". Enjoy a beautiful campsite along Cut Foot Sioux lake, take in a summer naturalist program or, in July, get out and pick some berries!

Cut Foot Visitor Center: The Visitor Center is open Wednesday-Sunday from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Stop in and enjoy the wildlife displays or take in a summer naturalist program. Programs are scheduled throughout the week and include Adventure Thursdays as well as outdoor skills and critter programs.

Smokey Bear's Birthday Party is scheduled for August 8 at 1 p.m. Smokey will be 74 years old!

Trails: Hike along the Simpson Creek trail or bike the Cut Foot Sioux trail. We love to go out along the esker at Seelye Point, near East Seelye Campground. Take time to look for wildflowers and wild berries along the trail.

Cut Foot Walleye Fishing and Camping: This area is known for great fishing, and Cut Foot Sioux lake is very popular at walleye fishing opener in early May. Fishing is great throughout the year. Check with campground hosts for the latest fishing report.

Horse Camp: The Cut Foot Sioux horse camp will reopen on August 17. (It closes in July because it's a little buggy back there mid-summer.) Check out this camp in late summer through October 23. Wonderful autumn trek through the Forest.


Camping: There are six main developed campgrounds in the area, including One-gume (electricity), Mosomo, East and West Seeleye, Deer Lake and Williams Narrows. Looking for a more primitive experience? Ask about the backcountry, or dispersed, camping opportunities in the area. Visitors can access these sites via car, trail, boat, or paddle!

Backcountry Notes: There are a number of popular backcountry sites on Big Cut Foot Sioux Lake. Most sites have fire rings and some also have wilderness latrines. Boat access from Mosomo Point or East Seeleye bay. They are first-come, first-serve, but worth the effort.

Naturalist programs: Families will enjoy a stop at the Cut Foot Sioux Visitor Center. The Center offers naturalist programs and activities throughout the summer, along with information and wild critter displays! The Visitor Center is open Memorial Day through Labor Day, Wednesday-Sunday 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Hiking Trails: The Simpson Creek Trail starts right at the Cut Foot Sioux Visitor Center and ends with a wonderful view of the lake out at East Seeleye Point. Bicyclists or overnight hikers may be interested in hiking the Cut Foot Sioux trail, which goes through the Simpson Creek trail and around to the Continental Divide. Great geologic features here, including a long glacial esker at Farley Hill. Continue the full loop back to Cut Foot Sioux.

Heritage: The road up to Cut Foot, Highway 46, is also called the Avenue of the Pines. The pines were planted in the 1930-1940's by CCC crews and, later, by German prisoners of war in World War II who were stationed at the old Cut Foot CCC camp. Take the time to visit the camp. Visitors will see the old foundations and chimneys among the thick-canopy of trees at this historic sites. Interpretive signs will lead visitors through the camp, and describe the buildings and work of the CCC boys.